good(bye), good(buy): an over-the-top ode to an orange sweatshirt

do you own a piece of clothing that you feel completely attached to?something you found, and grew to love extremely deeply over time? is that piece one that seemed to work its way into many an ensemble, in the most perfect of ways? in the words of susie bubble, was it a cog of your style?


i form strong personal attachments to certain pieces of clothing or other wearables. i know i can't be the only one!
sometimes those items are found new at retail, or perhaps they have uncovered by scouring the racks and bins of a thrift store or other shop. i spot them, and something about them resonates with me so deeply, so perfectly, it's almost as if i am somehow fated to have that piece. the piece was, in a sense, waiting there for me to discover it. sometimes the immediate attachment, the need to acquire something makes sense at the time, and other times, the inherent perfection of the item becomes clear over time, as it gains context and meaning in one's life and one's closet.
this simple red-orange sweatshirt, of all things, was a wardrobe cog to which i formed a particularly deep attachment:


i found it for a song at a williamsburg, brooklyn A.P.C. sample sale. i fondly remember the day of discovery like it was yesterday: peter and i had to stand outside the building door with large numbers of various and sundry new yorkers, waiting to be filtered into the bustling sale by a sample sale bouncer. the woman in front of me was wearing an HBO baseball cap and talking on her cell phone, and one of the women behind me was a children's wear designer, waxing poetic about her work with her friends.
it was a relatively warm january day (hello, global warming!), so the outdoor wait wasn't completely awful. once inside, we were confronted with racks, boxes, and tables of gloriously french ready-to-wear clothing and accessories, all priced to sell. the orange sweatshirt was one of many in a massive pile on a table in the back of the sale.
and she stood out to me, gloriously almost leaping into my grateful arms...
okay. not really. honestly, being a color whore, i was immediately attracted by her bright red-orange hue, and right away, i know i saw her potential to be an integral part of my working wardrobe, because of her simple, sporty fitted shape, understated but modern details (like the slightly ribbed orange fleecy fabric and plastic zipper), and promise of warmth.
and that she did become, a huge part of my wardrobe. i wore that sweatshirt all the damn time...with everything and anything, as evidenced by many a wardrobe_remix photo. when going to school, out to dinner, lazing about the house...always as a layer among layers. it kept me warm without adding bulk, it added another shot of color to already riotous color combinations i felt compelled to create. it became almost a part of me, and was essentially a perfect aesthetic representation of my personal style through it's shape, color, and style.
but the relationship was not to last!
*wash, wear, wash, wear.*
eventually, my little orange wardrobe workhorse started to get a little pilly, a little faded, a little threadbare. the orange paint on the zipper pull began to chip off, leaving it looking more than a little shabby (a look i don't love). and then, a fortnight ago, the last straw: some strange, subtile but unremovable brown stains appeared all over her, like a terrible pox that only those perfect clothing pieces have the fate to befall. i had to face the facts: the last days of the orange sweatshirt had come.

good(bye), good(buy).

*cue me screaming to the heavens, lifting up the sweatshirt, shaking her with grief, willing her to live another day*
i'll miss her so deeply. if only she could be replaced! if only A.P.C. had a secret stash of these sweatshirts i could buy and then hoard away for years! if only clothes (especially those made in the modern age) weren't ethereal items prone to entropy! if only i had worn her into the ground, you know? oh, my heart is breaking.


but on second thought, i suppose it tis better to have bought and worn into the ground with extreme love and obsession, than to have hidden such away in the closet and never worn at all.


the end.